The Case For Infant Baptism

I noticed in someone's forum profile that they asserted that only adults are baptized in the Bible.

The imperative is the fact that Jewish babies were circumcised on the 8th day by the command of God and since Paul & Peter both compare baptism to circumcision, that we see the type and example. The fact that the parents had the child circumcised as an entrance into their faith and professed their faith on behalf of the child while accepting the responsibility of seeing that they were raised in their faith, carries over into Christianity. It's as scriptural as "Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." The more relevant passages are those that show that entire households were baptized, which implies that people of all ages were included. If God commanded that babies be brought into the faith in the OT, why would that logical and family oriented practice cease with the coming of the Messiah? ALL Christianity is about family...that's about as NT as it gets.

If you think that one has to make a profession of faith to enter the Kingdom of God, but then don't believe that baptism is crucial for salvation, there is something scripturally wrong with your belief...yet the NT is almost adamant about that.

I do not believe that "
only adults are baptized in the Bible" is accurate, and here is a good article that explains why.

Infant Baptism (Link)

Fundamentalists often criticize the Catholic Church’s practice of baptizing infants. According to them, baptism is for adults and older children, because it is to be administered only after one has undergone a "born again" experience—that is, after one has "accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior." At the instant of acceptance, when he is "born again," the adult becomes a Christian, and his salvation is assured forever. Baptism follows, though it has no actual salvific value. In fact, one who dies before being baptized, but after "being saved," goes to heaven anyway.

As Fundamentalists see it, baptism is not a sacrament (in the true sense of the word), but an ordinance. It does not in any way convey the grace it symbolizes; rather, it is merely a public manifestation of the person’s conversion. Since only an adult or older child can be converted, baptism is inappropriate for infants or for children who have not yet reached the age of reason (generally considered to be age seven). Most Fundamentalists say that during the years before they reach the age of reason infants and young children are automatically saved. Only once a person reaches the age of reason does he need to "accept Jesus" in order to reach heaven.

Since the New Testament era, the Catholic Church has always understood baptism differently, teaching that it is a sacrament which accomplishes several things, the first of which is the remission of sin, both original sin and actual sin—only original sin in the case of infants and young children, since they are incapable of actual sin; and both original and actual sin in the case of older persons.

Peter explained what happens at baptism when he said, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). But he did not restrict this teaching to adults. He added, "For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him" (2:39). We also read: "Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name" (Acts 22:16). These commands are universal, not restricted to adults. Further, these commands make clear the necessary connection between baptism and salvation, a
connection explicitly stated in 1 Peter 3:21: "Baptism . . . now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
Some apparently feel that the early church did not baptize infants, but that can be disproved by reading the historical citations if the following article. Early Teachings of Infant Baptism (Fathers *) and from the very early account of the martyrdom of Polycarp (a disciple and friend of St. John as well as bishop of the Church in Smyrna) in which Polycarp plainly says the following when the proconsul tries to get him to deny Christ because of his old age. He shows that he was infant baptized.

CHAPTER 9 (LINK) 9:1 But to Polycarp, as he entered the arena, there came a voice from heaven, saying, Be strong, and play the man, O Polycarp. And the speaker no man saw; but the voice those of our people who were present heard. And when he was brought in there was a great tumult, when men heard that Polycarp was apprehended.
9:2 Then, when he had been brought in, the proconsul asked him if he was Polycarp. And when he confessed, he would have persuaded him to deny, saying, Have respect unto thine age, and other things like these, as is their custom to say: Swear by the fortunes of Caesar; Repent; Say, Away with the Atheists. But Polycarp, when he had looked with a grave face at all the multitude of lawless heathen in the arena, having beckoned unto them with his hand, sighed, and looking up unto heaven, said, Away with the Atheists!
9:3 And when the proconsul pressed him, and said, Swear, and I will release thee, revile Christ; Polycarp said, Eighty and six years have I served him, and in nothing hath he wronged me; and how, then, can I blaspheme my King, who saved me?

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